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Lexington mass transit official spells out plans for the upcoming fiscal year

Lexington City Council Takes In LexTran Presentation 05-14-24
Stu Johnson
Lexington City Council Takes In LexTran Presentation 05-14-24

Lexington’s mass transit system is examining a significant change in service delivery. Lexington City Council members got a briefing earlier this week.

LexTran General Manager Fred Combs highlighted the last year and plans included in a $35 million budget for the upcoming fiscal year. The feasibility study of establishing a micro-transit system will start in a few months. Combs said these vehicles would provide trips within a particular area and he added they wouldn’t run crosstown.

“If you were going from Palamar to the Senior Center on Life Lane Micro-Transit can’t get you all the way there. What it can do is feed you into the fixed route system and you could take LexTran fixed route service to complete your trip,” said Combs.

Combs said bus trip numbers are up 8% over last year, slowly catching up to pre-COVID figures. He said pending contract negotiations and healthcare coverage will likely mean increased costs. Combs said the transit center renovation project is out to bid.

The general manager of the city’s public bus service said work continues to lessen delays in the para-transit-“Wheels” program Combs said gains are being made.

“We’ve made progress. We are not where we need to be. However, I think we are on the right path. We’ve consistently been between 70 and 80% on-time performance. My expectation is before the end of the year we are between 80 and 90% on-time performance. Hopefully, by the time I’m here before you next year we will have capped 90%,” said Combs.

The LexTran GM said seven buses are on order and eventually the entire fleet is expected to be compressed natural gas or electric. And solar panels are being added to some bus stops to enhance security. Council gave initial approval to the LexTran budget.

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Stu has been reporting for WEKU for more than 35 years. His primary beat is Lexington/Fayette government.
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